Adweek Announces ‘Hot List’ Winners
“Hottest” media winners in various categories awarded last night. Among others, they include: Cosmopolitan (hottest magazine of the year); HGTV Magazine (hottest newcomer); People (celebrity/entertainment category); Southern Living (home); Afar (travel); Harper’s Bazaar (fashion); The Atlantic (thought leader); Bon Appetit (food); Esquire (men’s); Martha Stewart Living (women’s); Sports Illustrated (sports); Forbes (business); WSJ magazine (lifestyle). Hottest cover went to Rolling Stone (for its “Boston Bomber” Aug. 1 issue); hottest reborn magazine to Men’s Fitness. Wired named hottest magazine in digital; Teen Vogue named hottest magazine on social media. Executives awarded include Joanna Coles, Cosmopolitan, Editor of the Year; and Howard Mittman, Wired, Publisher of the Year. Profiles of each winner, plus “people’s choice” winners, also included in Adweek’s summary. NY Post highlights moments from the awards event, including NYC Mayor/Bloomberg Media chief Michael Bloomberg’s declaration: “I’m still a big believer in print” (which drew cheers from the crowd).
Adweek (link to print winners)
NY Post (awards event highlights)
Kate Moss Featured for Playboy’s 60th Anniversary Issue
The supermodel is featured (in bunny costume) on cover of Playboy’s Jan/Feb double anniversary issue, as well as in an apparently unprecedented 18-page pictorial. An “unfiltered” interview between moss and Sir Tom Jones also featured.
A day after New York magazine announced it will reduce its print frequency to biweekly, Dennis Publishing’s news magazine, The Week, has announced it will increase its print frequency from 48 to 51 issues next year. Steven Kotok, CEO of The Week and sibling publication Mental Floss, said: “Each one of our issues is profitable. If we add more issues, we’re more profitable.” The Week is less susceptible to declines in advertising because 65% of its revenue stems from circulation, according to Kotok. Its ad pages are down 21.2% in 2013, per MIN. But while its single-copy sales (which comprise a fraction of total circulation) were -6% in 1H, total paid/verified circ was +4% to 561,741. The Week’s Web site offers new print-only subscribers 50 issues for $1.19 per issue. Most subscribers pay between $1.25 and $1.50 per issue, according to Kotok. [Separately, Adweek speculates as to whether, following New York's decision, other weeklies like Time, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly might consider decreasing frequencies.] Also separately, Capital NY published a memo to staff from Kotok summarizing Dennis Publishing’s success and announcing three board additions to drive further growth, including actively seeking out future acquisitions.
Ad Age (The Week)
Exigent Postal Hike Decision Looms
Postal Rate Commission due to announce its decision re the USPS’s proposed exigent rate hike on Dec. 22. With time running out to get the PRC to reject the proposal, the MPA and a dozen other postal-dependent media organizations argue in a filing that the 2007-2009 recession–the basis of the USPS call for an exigent increase–was not the main cause of declining mail volume. (Due to a regulation, the USPS cannot base an exigent increase on the continuing effects of electronic diversion.) The coalition also suggested that if the PRC goes ahead with an increase, it should be rescinded on Jan. 26, 2016, 24 months after it takes effect, to make up for the losses the USPS suffered during the 2007-2009 recession.
Condé Nast Offers Free Introductory iPad Issues Promo
Through Dec. 2, Condé Nast is offering a free download of the current issue of the iPad edition of its many magazine titles, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Bon Appetit and Architectural Digest. To get them, users can go to the iPad Newsstand’s app and download the app for one of the titles, then click on the promotion. The same deal applies to the Google Play version of the magazine apps available for Android tablets.
Bob Dylan Charged in France Over Rolling Stone Interview
Bob Dylan has been charged with incitement to hatred in France after he was quoted comparing Croats with Nazis in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, a judicial source said Monday.
Opinion: ‘Publishers, Stop Crying Over Spilt Ink’
HBR associate editor Sarah Green notes the positive digital content consumption trends in media, and at New York magazine in particular, and objects to the negative, elegiac tone that the New York Times’s David Carr took in covering New York magazine’s decision to reduce print issue frequency. She writes in part: “Publishing today is a thriving, dynamic industry—one that is changing rapidly…the move to digital should not automatically be greeted as bad news. In fact, it’s often good news—it means the business is adapting…Media critics should leave their sad trombones at home. Consumers are not spending less time on media.”
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Roundy’s to Acquire 11 Dominick’s
Roundy’s Markets announced it’s agreed to pay $36M in cash to Safeway to purchase 11 Chicago-area Dominick’s locations, to be converted to the Mariano’s banner early next year. Chairman and CEO Robert A. Mariano (who once headed the Dominick’s chain before it was sold to Safeway) said Roundy’s was “intentionally selective,” noting the 11 stores are “irreplaceable locations and an excellent strategic fit with the 13 existing Mariano’s stores and with our expansion plans there.” He said the stores are expected to produce revenues of $850,000 to $950,000 a week, with an EBITDA contribution of approximately 6% (similar to what Mariano’s existing stores do). Also said the average rents will average $10 per square foot less than the company is paying for the stores it has built in Chicago, and that Safeway will remain the leaseholder at three of the 11 locations. Roundy’s will proceed with plans to open five new stores during 2014, giving it a total of 29 Mariano’s stores by year-end, with the potential for up to 45 to 50 Mariano’s in the greater Chicago market in the next few years. Deal expected to close before year-end. Roundy’s to take possession of five Dominick’s stores in late January and close them for 30 to 45 days to clean and upgrade them; it expects to take possession of the other six stores in early March, with similar plans to close and remodel five of the six over a 30- to 45-day period. The sixth store in Westchester, a Chicago suburb, will be closed for expansion and reopened later in 2014. All 11 stores will undergo full remodelings over the next two or three years. Roundy’s plans to refinance its debt and suspend its dividen to provide the flexibility to complete the acquisition and integrate and upgrade the facilities. Mariano also said the acquisition will be neutral to EBITDA in 2014 because of the startup and remodeling costs and accretive the following year.
Bi-Lo/Winn-Dixie Parent Southeastern Grocers Posts Q3 Sales Decline
In an SEC filing, Southeastern Grocers, which is planning an IPO, said net income from continuing operations was down about 55.5%, to $14.2M, for the 12-week period that ended Oct. 2. Sales were down about 3.1%, to $597.9M. For the 40-week period that ended Oct. 2, the company said compe-store sales increased 0.5% over year-ago results, from a 0.3% increase in average transaction size and a 0.2% increase in number of transactions. The company attributed the comp-store sales increase for the 40-week period to sales increases from pricing and promotional programs such as fuelperks! and other programs designed to increase the average basket size, and to sales increases from its remodel program. These were offset by an increase in new competitive openings and a prior-year increase in sales due to the effect of a tropical storm that occurred in fiscal 2012.
IBISWorld Projects Food, Other Holiday Spending
IBISWorld is projecting that total holiday spending at retail will grow by just 3.4%. But projects food and alcohol spending to grow 4.8%, to $6.3B. Reason: “Many consumers are opting for gatherings with close family and friends, particularly over food and drinks, instead of exchanging gifts with an extensive network.” 111.7M U.S. households expected to celebrate the holiday this December, spending 3.9% more on average for a celebratory dinner than they did in 2012. Projections for other holiday spending categories also broken out.
Amazon Opens Pop-Up Store in S.F.
Amazon has opened a physical pop-up store in a San Francisco mall. It’s selling its Kindle tablets and e-readers, as well as branded covers and power adapters, from vending machines, with sample Kindles on display for shoppers to test. Amazon’s CFO told reporters late last year that it had no immediate retail store ambitions.
Opinion: Of Drones and Taxes and Online Sales
Marketing Daily’s Thom Forbes rounds up some interesting points around the T-Day weekend sales data, the battle over online sales taxes, and skeptics’ takes on Amazon’s drone-delivery concept. Also, Bloomberg reports that less than 24 hours after Jeff Bezos floated the idea of delivering packages via airborne drones, the notion was met with resistance from regulators and skepticism in the shipping industry.
Bloomberg News (drones, FAA)
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: